I am currently down here in sunny Orlando Florida, USA, having a blast following my first official academic presentation on Doctor Who and Peter Pan just yesterday (at the time of writing this article) at my first academic conference as an independent scholar.
Having now completed my first foray into presenting, and in the spirit of my last few guides, I’ve decided to provide twelve great tips and steps to help you dear readers in your possible personal quest to present at an academic convention.
- Find an actual topic and thesis you can argue until you turn blue and die.
- Actually research your stuff. Like, it’s kind of important.
- Note cards are a necessity. I thought they would be unnecessary but that proved false (Jen was right as she usually is) and keeps your presentation tidy and short.
- Be genial, smile, and engage the audience as you sit in utter authority at the front of the room.
- Either read excerpts from your paper or a scripted presentation or choose key points and argue them informally but certainly informed.
- Sacrifice Iphigenia before you present to ensure a successful presentation.
- Powerpoint presentations are often very helpful in trying to convey your arguments, especially if you use moving gifs and cracked out pictures specifically pulled from tumblr.
- Cat gifs are especially convincing.
- I was kidding. Cat gifs tend to not help make convincing arguments. They’re just cute. And cats. But making a deal with Mephistopheles does.
- Pick (as in steal) and eat lots of loquat fruit off of loquat trees planted on the hotel grounds. They are very delicious small fruits that taste like a solid fruit smoothie with a flavor and texture somewhere in between a peach, apricot and mango with tangy citrus overtones. Make sure they are a golden-apricot yellow before picking, picked too soon they are much more sour citrusy. They have very big seeds sometimes a lot in such a small fruit, big enough that you can throw them at people. Jen didn’t want to try them, but I made her and she said they were good.
- Brush your teeth before you present. No spinach nastiness now.
- A clear, loud and assertive speaking voice encouraged, you want to find the right balance between Kindergarten Teacher and demonic possession.
If you follow these steps and submit a good abstract and proposal to the conference of your choice, you too can give a great presentation. Note, only 1-5, 7, 10- and the first part of 12 are actual good advice, please do not do the others. Or do and tell me how that goes. But do eat loquats. They’re delicious.
Staff Writer/The Doctor